What do you do when your very public husband is caught cheating?
It’s in the news, the Internet, the radio and every source you hear or see right now. Powerful men acting like “Pigs” as Nancy Gibbs so eloquently wrote in her recent article in Time (no offense to the four- legged ones). When I read or see these reports my mind asks many questions. Who are these women cheating with these men, and what is wrong with them? But more curious to me is how a woman decides whether to leave or stay? If you have been married to the cheating man for a long time you have a “history.” That history can be so powerful and usually includes children. Most of the men cheating have cheated numerous times in the past and their wives were aware of their cheating history. But…how do you decide whether to leave or go?
In the New York Times Saturday morning an article discussed Anne Sinclair who has been married to Mr. Strauss-Kahn since 1991. Ms. Sinclair was more famous and wealthy than her husband and actually promoted his career far more than he himself or anyone else. She is smart, well- respected, and wealthy. She had that all before him. Why would a woman like this chose to stay with a man who has a history of womanizing and acting like one of the “Pigs” Gibbs talks about? Close friends to Ms. Sinclair report she knew about her husband’s behavior.
She may have known, but most likely felt her heart drop when she was called by her husband telling her he was in jail for charges of attempted rape. Ms. Sinclair was in Paris awaiting the birth of her first grandchild. Could she or any woman have prevented their powerful husband from acting recklessly or foolishly with their power? Can we as a society influence men who let their power take over their thinking and what’s in their pants? Can we change women with whom they cheat to understand it will cheapen them also when they get involved with a high profile married man? It seems no one has the answers, and these situations continue to happen and rip families apart.
There are 5 things you should do if you are married to a man who is a womanizer and know he is not being faithful to you:
1. The first thing I would advise women to know is you don’t have to explain your choice. If you go, you did it for the right reasons just as if you stay you stay for the right reasons. There are valid reasons for both.
2. Make it your mission not to make any decision for at least 6 months. Focus on not reacting. Anger, fear, hurt, revenge, jealousy, and humiliation all take a toll on one’s physical and emotional health. Take better care of yourself and your children.
3. Talk to your husband and keep the story there. Make it a plan to seclude the marriage between the two of you for as long as possible. No matter what happened, your husband is totally responsible for his actions right now. He will begin to make excuses now; his actions of infidelity changed the course you may have taken previously. The marriage may have been crippled, unemotional, and lacking intimacy; however, cheating is NOT a solution. You may use this as your mantra, and he would be wise to use it too. Men who view themselves as powerful may believe they should be able to have sex with whomever they want.
4. You should find a knowledgeable lawyer and make an appointment. Whatever choice you choose, it is wise to know what will happen financially so you can plan.
5. Lastly, you need to talk with him about a plan. Is he going to move out, are you going to seek counseling, mediation, and what about the children? Counseling can help validate your feelings at this time, and emotional support from a third party helps you maintain your strength so you can make a clearer, more thought out decision.
One of the reasons men in power may act like animals is because they are emotionally fragile. When men get more powerful they become reckless and begin to think they can do whatever they want. They are great in their own eyes. This feeling isn’t very deep, and when they are caught with their pants down, they become the fragile men most of us, especially their spouse, saw all along. In the end, it is that emotional fragility, as well as other carefully thought out reasons that influence some wives’ decision to stay. –Mary Jo Rapini
Addendum: It may interest the reader to know that men in power who cheat meticulously choose women who are desperate, easy, drug addicted, or come from a history with severe abuse. Some of these men get so deluded with their power that they forget to wear protection. Adding “baby daddy” to the list of complications of cheating makes the decision to stay more difficult for their wives. They also may have underestimated the “easiness of the woman” with whom they chose to cheat. Mjo
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